Ask the Hive Mind: How Do You Plan Game Programming?

If you’re looking to start a game collection, you probably have questions. GameRT is here to help!

In this blog series, once a month we’ll take a commonly asked “nut-and-bolts” question and share our different perspectives on it!

Today’s Question: What kind of programming or promotion do you do to advertise your library’s game collection? 

Liz: Mid-sized Public Library

We feature new video games in our catalog, alongside other new titles, so that users can place the materials on hold before they even arrive at the library. Board games are housed under our “Library of Things” and were featured in local news outlets when the collection first went public. Neither game collection has needed much marketing to gain interest. We will take a few titles to outreach events at schools and community gatherings, just to show off the variety of materials now available from the library. In honor of International Games Month, several branches are using the collection to use for board game programs, directed towards families and teens. At my branch, we’re hosting a “Dungeons & Dragons 101” program to help people get started playing their own campaigns and to highlight the fact that D&D5e gamebooks are part of our circulating collection. We’re giving away a nifty, vinyl sticker at all IGM events this year. 

Emma: Small Public Library

My library’s collection launched while we were still observing careful Covid precautions, so we weren’t able to do in person programming when we launched. Instead, we did a social media marketing push with frequent “Get to Know That Game” videos. I would do a quick video, under five minutes, with the game laid out in front of me introducing it and connecting it to reader advisory for other sections of the library. I still do regular social media posts whenever we get new games in to keep them fresh on patron’s minds.

A still from a “Get to Know That Game” video

Now that we’re fully open for in person programming again, I am hosting monthly game nights for adults. This is an evening program, opening up our event room for groups who want to bring their own games, play library games, or meet up with other local gamers. I’ll be demo-ing games from our collection and have them displayed for checkout. 

Our YA librarian recently got a Nintendo Switch with a grant, and she’s starting a teen gaming program with the help of the Teen Advisory Board. She also hosts Lego Night for kids and adults.

And, of course, we also participate in International Games Month every year! Our family programming team hosts nerf nights, scavenger hunts, family bingo, capture the flag, and family gaming activities!

If you have a circulating board game collection, comment with your answer below! If you have a question you’d like to ask, comment and let us know, or send us a message at

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